This is it, although later than I would have liked, and yet later for all the best reasons embodying perhaps the whole of it, this manifesto comes a few days following my twenty third birthday. A birthday that meant more to me than most.
Somewhere in the mix of driving across of the country for the fifth time, waking up in a New Mexico bungalow to breakfast in the backyard of a stranger, laying under the willow trees in Indiana next to my love, and surprising my mama for Mother's Day in New York, I can say that in the midst of everything, yes every moment leading up to this point in my life has been worth it. Despite how heart wrenchingly hard or blissful the moments have been, they have shaped me, and they have taught me.
Twenty three has already been richer than I dare thought it would be.
Rich in laughter, in love, in tears, in family, in unplugged pure beauty without filter or fault.
I sat in a hotel room Saturday evening scribbling down my thoughts, my heartfelt hopes, and honest inward reflections of becoming, recognizing who I was at twenty two, and who I hope to become at twenty three. It includes mostly the learned practice, (*note to self: practice) letting go of expectations, letting go of pride, of perfections and making more room, more space for the good, the gentle, the generous, and the genuine.
Besides in the messy & miraculousness of age, of changing, of becoming, of finding, of reinventing, learning to just let things be is a of a gain in my book. At twenty three I hope to keep dismissing those nonsense notions of strict routines and societies false pretenses of perfection in whatever form they may trickle down to be.
At twenty three there is much to hope for, much to challenge, much to discover, and then rediscover over and over again. There are ever flowing messy bits, and still tid bits of advice that I'm finally learning to materialize. You know, wash your face first thing in the morning, and before you crawl into bed at night. Great conversation is usually always elevated with great people surrounded by great food. Spend each Saturday where you want to be, and every day for that matter. If you have an impulse, act on it because in most cases you'll be sorry you didn't rather than sorry that you did. Escape to the earth, to the green, where the birds sing to you freely and the wind can sweep up your worries and blow them away. Make time to sit in silence, to sit with your heart open, and your mind relaxed. Date your husband, and show him your love for him in infinite ways. Always place your family as the priority. Time moves far too quickly, so unplug from your cell phone, from your work, from your worries. Soak up every bit of warmth - whether that warmth is found through laughter, friendships, delicious food, or sunshine. Document your life tangibly. Be present, and be humble.
Twenty three soaks into my skin, the warmth of self love radiates and self value replenishes. There is a wave that washes over me, one that is appreciative, content, and completely satisfied with this life that I'm building, this person that I am still learning to be. I'm sure, knowing me, I'll still be as ever curious about how my life will play out, but I'm confident that no matter how much I calculate and plan, that twenty three will be oh so much more — more than I could ever fathom.
Love embraces the whole of it, and I am happier than I dare say I have ever been.